Ethnomedicinal uses of Costus afer. Botanical and Ecological Distribution Costus afer Ker-Gawl is usually an unbranched tropical plant often seen as a herb with a creeping rhizome. It is a relatively small monocot shrub which is commonly found in humid and monstrous forests and riverside [ 11 ]. It is a perennial plant which can grow as tall as 4 m and bears white and yellow flowers [ 11 , 24 ].
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Ethnomedicinal uses of Costus afer. Botanical and Ecological Distribution Costus afer Ker-Gawl is usually an unbranched tropical plant often seen as a herb with a creeping rhizome. It is a relatively small monocot shrub which is commonly found in humid and monstrous forests and riverside [ 11 ].
It is a perennial plant which can grow as tall as 4 m and bears white and yellow flowers [ 11 , 24 ]. Its inflorescence is a highly compact, terminal, conical spike of about 2. It has simple leaves, which are arranged spirally. The sheath is lobular, closed, and green with purple blotches. The ligule is about 4 to 8 mm long, which is leathery and glabrous. The leaf blade is elliptical to obovate of about 15 cm to 35 cm 3.
The margin is sparsely hairy with a bisexual and zygomorphic flower. A picture of C. Figure 2 Leaves of Costus afer. Costus is pan tropical with about seventy species, of which forty are found in tropical America, twenty-five in West tropical Africa, and five in South-East Asia [ 25 ]. In Africa, the plant is found in the forest belt from Senegal to Ethiopia and in the East to Tanzania.
Nutritional and Phytochemical Composition of Costus afer C. This involves the use of the plant parts such as leaf, stem, and the rhizome in preparation of food [ 7 , 18 ]. The proximate analysis of different parts of C. Both the leaves and stem are rich in macronutrients such as carbohydrate, crude protein, fat, ash, moisture, and a good source of fiber. There are also reports of the presence of certain vital nutrients such as vitamins B 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 , E, and C in the leaves [ 28 ].
The phytochemical analysis of the leaves, stem, and the rhizome of this plant in different solvents shows the presence of alkaloids, phenols, saponins, triterpenes, tannins, and glycosides [ 2 , 29 , 30 ]. These phytochemicals and nutrients may justify the nutraceutical use of the plant [ 4 ]. Research on the chemical identification and isolation of bioactive compounds from C.
For instance, the rhizome is reported to contain steroidal saponins such as diocin, paryphyllin C, aferoside B, and aferoside C. KaempferolO-R-L-rhamnopyranoside, which is a flavonoid glycoside, has also been identified from the aerial part of the plant [ 31 ].
Additional aferoside A [ 21 ] and aferosides B and C [ 32 ] have been isolated from the roots of C. The structures of some compounds reported to be found in C. Figure 3 Chemical structures of some selected phytocompounds from different parts of Costus afer. Pharmacological Activities of Costus afer 3. Pancreatic Protection, Antidiabetic Property, and Hypolipidemic Effect Diabetes mellitus is a chronic hormonal and metabolic disorder that is characterized by a persistent increase in blood glucose levels.
In an alloxan-induced rat model, there was a significant reduction in blood glucose level when C. A study by Ezejiofor and colleagues reported in , , and showed that C.
These reports are consistent with the work by ThankGod et al. The same research group in in a histopathological study of C. This therefore indicates that C. Other studies have also attempted to elucidate mechanisms through which the C. In an in vitro study involving different solvent extracts of C. Ethyl acetate rhizome and methanol leaf extract exhibited the highest inhibitory effect with an IC50 of 0. Glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes is a recognized in vitro model that represents a critical experiment for glucose utilization and disposal in mammals.
In a study reported by Anaga and colleagues in [ 19 ], C. It is clear that several studies attest to the fact that C. The stem and roots are reported to contain several bioactive compounds [ 21 , 32 ] with diosgenin and aferosides A, B, and C named as the most likely compounds responsible for the antidiabetic properties of C. Diosgenin ameliorates insulin resistance by increasing glucose usage and intracellular glycogen synthesis [ 30 ]. The concentration of lipids such as triacylglyceride TAG , total cholesterol TC , very low-density lipoprotein VLDL , and low-density lipoprotein LDL is highly regulated to avoid certain clinical conditions such as steatosis.
This condition occurs when there is abnormal retention of lipids within a cell as a result of impairment in the normal synthesis and degradation of fats. Accumulation of these fats is often associated with disorders and diseases such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, and hepatitis C.
When the body is unable to control fat regulation, there is the need for extracellular regulation, which includes the use of a natural product such as C. In both carbon tetrachloride-induced model [ 38 ] and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model [ 39 ], there was a significant rise in the TAG, TC, and LDL levels in negative control animals. On the administration of C. Results from these studies indicate that C.
Protective Ability against Kidney, Liver, Heart, Testicle, and Mitochondrial Damage When the body is exposed to toxins or drugs, it becomes imperative for organs such as the liver and kidney to detoxify such substances. The liver is usually involved in the biotransformation of toxins to less toxic compounds through phase I and II reactions to enhance their elimination by kidneys.
In a disease state of the kidney, its detoxifying capacity is impaired. Toxicity of the kidney results in elevated concentrations of sodium and potassium in the serum and enlarged kidney. A report published by Ezejiofor et al. In a gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity model involving oral administration of aqueous C. There was as well a significant decrease in serum potassium concentration, which occurred in a dose-dependent manner.
The low and medium dose of aqueous leaf extract of C. The C. There was an observed improvement in tissue architecture with visible glomeruli and less cell inflammation when C. This depicts the fact that C. Another study reported by Ezejiofor and Orisakwe in also noticed the ability of C. This observation shows that C. The role of the liver is so critical that there is a need to protect it from damage. One of the causes of damage to the liver is oxidative stress and its close proximity to the intestines makes it more prone to a wide spectrum of food-borne toxins.
The damaging effect of free radicals to the liver is increased during exposure to xenobiotic such as drugs. A defect in the liver leads to the leakage of certain liver enzymes into the blood.
These enzymes include alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and aspartate aminotransferase. These enzymes therefore serve as biomarkers for the detection of liver damage in serum. In another study, it was demonstrated that C. In a cardiac-induced toxicity with CCl4 2. In a study involving CCl4-induced cardiac toxicity, administration of C.
Lead Pb is a multiple organ toxicant and an oxidative stress inducer. The protective effect of aqueous leaf extract of C. The result showed insignificant changes in the weights of epididymis and testes when extract treated Pb group was compared with the normal control. Marked rise was noted in the sperm analysis, blood Pb level, and luteinizing hormone LH and a decrease was observed in follicle-stimulating hormone FSH with nonsignificant changes in testosterone in the extract treated Pb group compared to the normal control.
The outcome according to the researchers depicts the fact that aqueous leaf extract of C. Cadmium toxicity is generally treated with chelating agents such as dimercaprol mesomercaptosuccinic acid and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid EDTA which are commercially available, and results of many histological studies have shown that the chelating agents are not safe. The results reported in by Atere and Akinloye [ 45 ] are at variance with what Ezejiofor and Orisakwe also reported when they used lead as the toxic agent [ 44 ].
The antioxidant role of C. Another report by Anyasor and colleagues published in [ 46 ] shows a chemoprotective activity of C. According to the report, both C. In a study, C. This suggests that C. This indicates that C. Almost all the pharmacological effects observed in the chemical-induced organ damage models have been attributed to antioxidant or free radical scavenging potential as demonstrated by Tchamgoue and colleagues [ 47 ].
Many studies have demonstrated the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant abilities of C. In an in vivo study on cardiac toxicity, for example, there was a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation, improvement in lipid profile, and increase in antioxidant activity [ 38 ]. In an in vivo nephrotoxicity model, C. In vitro antioxidant studies on aqueous stem extract of C. The methanol extract of the C. Hexane leaf extract of C. All these data depict the fact that C. Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects Analgesic is used as a painkiller without blocking any nerve impulse conduction, altering sensory perception nor affecting consciousness.
Some of the methods employed in evaluating analgesic property include acetic acid-induced writhing, the tail flick assay, and the tail immersion assay. A study by Ijioma et al. The results indicate that both extract and stem juice of C. Another study [ 49 ] involving hexane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous fraction, the hexane fraction of C.
The study further identified compounds, which include phytol, coumaran, hexadecanoic acid, octadecatrienoic acid, and cis-vaccenic acid as some key compounds responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of the plant. Momoh and colleagues in [ 50 ] had reported that C.
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Costus anomocalyx K. Costus insularis A. Costus littoralis K. Costus obl Habitats Edible Uses Leaves[ ]. An acid flavour[ ]. The rhizome is occasionally used as a spice or flavouring. Medicinal Uses Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Plant Datasheet for Costus afer Click on a thumbnail to load full sized image. Use your "back" button to come back to this page. Monograph of African Costaceae, H. Maas-van de Kamer, P. Maas, J.
Costus afer - Spiral Ginger